SMACKDOWN!

God DAMN!

On his show “Hardball”, Chris Matthews put the hammer down on Michelle Malkin (who I’ve written about before) when she tried to argue by innuendo that John Kerry shot himself in order to get out of Vietnam.

Did she come out and make that charge? No, of course not. She claimed that “some veterans” had made it, in their book, Unfit for Command.

Fellow MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann comments on this tactic on the Hardball blog:

She raised the story — heretofore consigned largely to Robert Novak and everybody to his right — in that delightful, Teflon way of modern politics: ‘I’m not saying that John Kerry shot himself. But in the Swift Boat Veterans’ book, they ask whether or not his wounds were self-inflicted.’
If Ms. Malkin isn’t seen on television, or moving on her own power, in the next few days, it’s understandable. My colleague Mr. Matthews forced her to hang herself out to dry ten or eleven times (never prouder of you, Chris). He may have directed the momentum, but her wounds were ultimately, uh, self-inflicted.
As Chris rightly pointed out, nobody has produced an iota of evidence that John Kerry’s wounds were anything other than the result of combat. Even in the book, the references to it are speculative and without provenance. Ms. Malkin wouldn’t even go so far as to attribute the suspicion to herself. It was in the book.

Matthews, to his credit, gave Malkin’s innuendo exactly the response it deserved — he pinned it right to the table so everyone could watch it squirm under the hot lights. Oliver Willis has the video so you can see it in all its glory for yourself.

Malkin has a blog too, and she’s predictably crying ambush journalism:

Note that I didn’t bring the subject of shrapnel. (Got that, Keith Olbermann?) Willie Brown raised the issue.
Here is how I responded verbatim:
“Well yeah. Why don’t people ask him more specific questions about the shrapnel in his leg? There are legitimate questions about whether or not it was a self-inflicted wound.”
Matthews frantically stuffed words down my mouth when I raised these allegations made in Unfit for Command that Kerry’s wounds might have been self-inflicted. In his ill-informed and ideologically warped mind, this transmogrified into me accusing Kerry of “shooting himself on purpose” to get an award.
I repeated that the allegations involved whether the injuries were “self inflicted wounds.” I DID NOT SAY HE SHOT HIMSELF ON PURPOSE and Chris Matthews knows it.

But Malkin (unsurprisingly) leaves out the key point — that the question Matthews was asking was not whether anti-Kerry wing nuts are making “allegations”, it was whether she agreed with the “allegations”, and she refused to answer it, preferring instead to just keep repeating them. This is a common tactic in modern smear politics — float an allegation, but don’t say that you agree with it, just that lots of other people do and you’re just reporting what they’re saying.

Matthews put his finger right on the problem with that position — if you don’t think there’s something to the allegations, why are you repeating them? And if you do think there’s something to them, why would you have a problem saying so?

Malkin ends her blog post with this:

What I take away from all this is that the Democrat Party waterboys in the media are in full desperation mode. I have now witnessed firsthand and up close (Matthews’ spittle nearly hit me in the face) how the pressure from alternative media sources–the blogosphere, conservative Internet forums, talk radio, Regnery Publishing, FOX News, etc. –is driving these people absolutely batty.
Keep bringing it on.

If “the pressure from alternative media sources” is prompting journalists to finally start standing up and demanding the truth when faced with the kinds of shameful tactics deployed by Malkin, I must say I agree with her: keep bringing it on. Please!


Comments

Sandy

August 20, 2004
10:03 am

Now, claim you’re an entertainer, put her allegations to kooky campy 50’s happymusik, do a couple of chase-the-official interviews, add on some Viet Nam war footage, and you’ll win the Palm D’or. 😉
“I’m just an entertainer–I don’t know, I’m just asking questions.”

Lou

August 20, 2004
10:16 am

If you moonbats had ever served in the military, you would know that self-inflicted also means being wounded inadvertently by your oun fire. That is exactly what is stated in the swiftvets book. That is exactly what Michelle meant. Keep drinking that koolaid. By the way, rumor has it that the Democrat convention in 2008 is going to be held in Cambodia. Maby you can “sear” that in your memory.

Jason Lefkowitz

August 20, 2004
10:39 am

Hey Lou,
Before you go calling anyone a “moonbat” (whatever that means), maybe you should take the time to actually read what I wrote. The “Swift Boat Vets” have the right to write whatever hoo-hah they want. But if Malkin’s going to repeat their “allegations”, she should be willing to say she thinks there’s something to them. If she doesn’t, she should let them die a dignified death. Going around repeating “allegations” you don’t believe in enough to affirm directly only makes you look like a tool, as Malkin discovered when Matthews quite rightly called her out on it.
And if she meant “self-inflicted” to mean “accidentally wounded by weapon discharge while engaging the enemy” (which means that you all are at least admitting this week that he was engaging the enemy — progress!) — why would *that* cast any question on his character? Come on, you know she meant “self-inflicted” to imply that he drilled a bullet into his foot or something to get a free ride home. Either that or she’s even *dumber* than Matthews made her look.
As for the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth”, you might want to read today’s New York Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/20/politics/campaign/20swift.html?hp
You should find the parts about how many of these guys praised Kerry’s service publicly before they got their feelings bruised by being portrayed unflatteringly in Douglas Brinkley’s book particularly interesting.
But hey, thanks for visiting 🙂

Spoons

August 20, 2004
11:09 am

Malkin was not saying that Kerry shot himself on purpose. Neither do the swiftboat vets. Matthews kept asking whether she agreed with the charge that Kerry shot himself on purpose. Of course Malkin didn’t answer that question, because the assertion itself was false. No one is claiming what Matthews said they were.
It’d be like if I asked you, “Do you agree with John Kerry’s claim that Osama bin Laden would be a better President than George Bush.” Then, when you tried to answer, “But Kerry never said that,” I cut you off with “ANSWER THE QUESTION! ANSWER THE QUESTION! WHY WON’T YOU ANSWER THE QUESTION?!?”
The claim by the swiftboat vets is that Kerry was injured by shrapnel from his own grenade while blowing up enemy stores in a non-combat operation. This doesn’t mean that it was intentional. It sounds like an honest mistake. It also would not qualify for a purple heart. All Malkin was tyring to do was explain what the charge was, but Matthews wouldn’t let her. Frankly, I think your side doesn’t have much to fear about the purple heart stories (the Cambodia thing is a much different issue), so I can’t understand why a guy like Matthews has to be so dishonest and rude about it.

epman

August 20, 2004
11:51 am

Spoons is right on…..Any time during the show that Matthews was concerned about the guests’ answer he would just rant. I noticed that when Cleland was interviewed most of the idiot Matthews’ reponses were “yea, ok”….no ranting. Just think if Kerry had ANYTHING else, I mean any little thing, like a Senate record or something to run on this debate would have run it’s course. But since he (Kerry) continues to make this little, 4 months, of his life the mainstay of his campaign…..Bring It On. Indeed.

Lou

August 20, 2004
11:53 am

Jasom I withdraw the “moonbat” comment directed towards you. I think that you should go to Matthews hardblogger site on msmbc and see that Matthews and Olbermann both today accuse Malkin of exactly what they were questioning her of last night. They state categorically that she was inferring that Kerry shot himself. This is a purposeful distortion of what Michele said. You can be on the opposite side of me politically, thats fine. But Matthews didn’t read the book. Neither did Olbermann. I suggest that you read the swiftboat book. It will make you very uneasy. Over 60 purple heart winners, many highly decorated, and 17 of the 23 officers who served with Kerry hae stated in this book that Kerry is unfit to command. If shining a light up Bushes ass concerning his National Guard service is fair then certainly the msm should do the same to Kerry.

Jason Lefkowitz

August 20, 2004
12:52 pm

“Malkin was not saying that Kerry shot himself on purpose.”
So what *was* she saying, then?
Lou claims she meant “self-inflicted” to mean “wounded inadvertently by your oun [sic] fire”. But how would that make you “Unfit For Command”? Why would it rankle these guys so much if he got hit by a random (‘inadvertent’, remember) piece of flying lead?
You all know as well as I do that she, and O’Neill and the rest, are twisting the term “self-inflicted”. They know that most people will hear that and think Kerry purposely injured himself. You have all conceded that nothing of the sort happened, but in that case, why is this even an issue? Why did Malkin even bother bringing it up?
Because she knew that people would hear “self-inflicted” and interpret it to mean something other than what actually happened, that’s why. And Chris Matthews called her on it.
It is fun, though, to see the right put so much time into parsing semantics like what the exact military definition of a “self-inflicted wound” is, considering it’s the same crowd that made so much hay over Clinton’s legendary word games. Pot, kettle, black.

SAHMmy

August 20, 2004
12:59 pm

Richard, can I call you Dick?
You said, “But Malkin (unsurprisingly) leaves out the key point — that the question Matthews was asking was not whether anti-Kerry wing nuts are making “allegations”, it was whether she agreed with the “allegations”, and she refused to answer it, preferring instead to just keep repeating them.”
She didn’t refuse to answer it she said, “I don’t know.” Meaning: She doesn’t know if it’s true or not.

Jason Lefkowitz

August 20, 2004
1:16 pm

“She didn’t refuse to answer it she said, ‘I don’t know.’ Meaning: She doesn’t know if it’s true or not.”
So why repeat the allegation?
Isn’t repeating a slur against someone kind of uncalled for when you have no idea if it’s true or not?
Or is Ms. Malkin just in the habit of spouting things about whose veracity she has no idea?

CBT

August 20, 2004
2:25 pm

Lou wrote: “Over 60 purple heart winners, many highly decorated, and 17 of the 23 officers who served with Kerry hae stated in this book that Kerry is unfit to command.”
Your response, Jason? You seem a little fixated on the “self-inflicted” crap. Talk about straining a gnat!
And read Michelle’s blog about what she was supposed to be called on the show to talk about. She was ambushed, plain and simple.

SAHMmy

August 20, 2004
2:41 pm

It isn’t a slur, it’s an allegation about a Presidential candidate in a published book, and it was the host who started talking about the book. A book he HADN’T bothered to read, no less.
And there’s something else I find puzzling in this matter. You’ve got a group of decorated Vietnam Veterans. The ones who speak in glowing terms about Kerry are fine, brave and noble men. The ones who had a much different experience with Kerry and who share those experiences with the public are lying, cowardly and partisan.
Kerry’s experiences in Vietnam are no more heroic, noble or worthy than the experiences and sacrifices made by the 249 SwiftBoat Veterans. Why is it a greater sin to malign one Vietnam Veteran than to malign 249?!!!

Jason Lefkowitz

August 20, 2004
4:15 pm

Wow, it amazes me that people are STILL taking the “Swift Boat Vets” seriously.
Did you not read this?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A13267-2004Aug18.htm
Or this?
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/20/politics/campaign/20swift.html?hp
Or this?
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4534613/
For Pete’s sake, some of these guys were praising Kerry’s bravery under fire *less than a year ago*. If that’s the horse you want Bush to ride to November, I say more power to you!

SAHMmy

August 20, 2004
4:21 pm

Damn, I most heartily apologise for the multiple posts. My bad.

Jason Lefkowitz

August 20, 2004
4:24 pm

“It isn’t a slur, it’s an allegation about a Presidential candidate in a published book, and it was the host who started talking about the book.”
Slur? Damn right it’s a slur!
You know full well that she intended people to hear her words and think “Kerry shot himself to get out of Vietnam”. He did nothing of the sort. Even she admits that.
That’s a SLUR any way you slice it. Publishing the slur in a book doesn’t make it less of a slur, it makes it more of a libel! (Though I’m sure the book is full of the kind of Clintonian word-parsing all the Malkinites have been trotting out here today, so they can avoid having a lawsuit rammed down their throats.)
“Why is it a greater sin to malign one Vietnam Veteran than to malign 249?!!!”
There was one whistleblower at Abu Ghraib and a dozen MPs stacking prisoners into naked pyramids. Why is it a greater sin to punish the whistleblower than to punish 12 torturers?
Do you even realize how GOOFY your line of reasoning is?

Jason Lefkowitz

August 20, 2004
4:27 pm

Skunk

August 20, 2004
4:54 pm

Jason………take a breath. Man, you are sooooo off base here. You are hammering Malkin just like that idiot Matthews over an item in a book she didn’t even write or bring up in the first place! He didn’t even discuss her book before he got mad cause she wouldn’t say what he wanted to hear and ran her off. Matthews is a mainstream media meathead. And one other thing…..you want us to find the truth in items in the NYT and DNCNBC? Yea right!

Jason Lefkowitz

August 20, 2004
5:22 pm

Take a breath? I’m having too much fun!
“You are hammering Malkin just like that idiot Matthews over an item in a book she didn’t even write or bring up in the first place!”
This whole business of “she didn’t bring it up” is a canard. Don’t believe me? Let’s go to the videotape!
==========
Excerpted in full from transcript of the episode: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5765243/
WILLIE BROWN, FORMER SAN FRANCISCO MAYOR: He volunteered twice. He volunteered twice in Vietnam. He literally got shot. There‘s no question about any of those things. So what else is there to discuss? How much he got shot, how deep, how much shrapnel?
MALKIN: Well, yes. Why don‘t people ask him more specific questions about the shrapnel in his leg. They are legitimate questions about whether or not it was a self-inflicted wound.
(CROSSTALK)
MATTHEWS: What do you mean by self-inflicted? Are you saying he shot himself on purpose? Is that what you‘re saying?
MALKIN: Did you read the book…
MATTHEWS: I‘m asking a simple question. Are you saying that he shot himself on purpose.
MALKIN: I‘m saying some of these soldiers…
MATTHEWS: And I‘m asking question.
MALKIN: And I‘m answering it.
MATTHEWS: Did he shoot himself on purpose.
MALKIN: Some of the soldiers have made allegations that these were self-inflicted wounds.
==========
There it is: Willie Brown sarcastically makes a suggestion — “So what else is there to discuss? How much he got shot, how deep, how much shrapnel? ” — and Malkin responds by suggesting something else they could discuss, the unfounded charge that John Kerry shot himself:
“MALKIN: Well, yes. Why don‘t people ask him more specific questions about the shrapnel in his leg. They are legitimate questions about whether or not it was a self-inflicted wound.”
There you have it. They weren’t talking about this silly charge until Malkin pulled it out of who knows where.
Did Malkin write the book? Of course not. Did she have the ability to choose not to throw out a slur that she didn’t believe to be true, and therefore not provoke Chris Matthews to ask her to back it up? Of course. But we all know that “personal responsibility” means nothing when it comes to GOP talking heads, right? It’s all that mean Matthews’ fault!
Oh, and as for finding truth in the NYT, MSNBC, etc. — no, I expect you to THINK FOR YOURSELF. If these stories are wrong, explain how they’re wrong. Do some research. Get a blog and put some context around the story.
But don’t come here asking me to ignore facts that are on the public record without an explanation why. And “they’re all a buncha libruls” doesn’t cut it.

Skunk

August 20, 2004
5:50 pm

Did you read the transcript from the start of HER segment? Duh..Matthews brought it up….and then when did HE get to her book?
MATTHEWS: Malkin, I like it better.
She‘s the author of in “Defense of Interment: The Case for Racial Profiling.” We‘ll get to that in a minute, that sounds hot enough.
What do you make of the president‘s—this campaign being run on behalf of the president, if not officially to try destroy John Kerry‘s war record?
MALKIN: I don‘t think that President Bush orchestrated this at all.
What a moroon…A blog allows you to spew nonsense? Research…….Alittle taste of your own prescription wouldn’t hurt. Bottom line here is this his (Kerry) campaign issue, actually the only thing he does have. If you can’t stand the heat……….

Jason Lefkowitz

August 20, 2004
5:58 pm

I did read the transcript from the start of her segment.
I wasn’t talking about who mentioned the book first. That’s irrelevant. The WHOLE SHOW was about the book. What else are they going to talk about, the weather?
What matters is that Malkin, unprompted, pulled out the BS charge that Kerry’s wound was “self-inflicted” — and proceeded to try to use it in classic slimeball-politics fashion, by repeating the charge while denying that SHE believed it.
Now she’s spewing smoke about who mentioned the book first to try and cover the way Matthews took her to task. But, as I noted, who mentioned the book first doesn’t make a dime’s worth of difference.
Do try to keep up.

SAHMmy

August 20, 2004
7:01 pm

It’s a slur if it’s false. It has not been proven false, no matter how many foaming-at-the-mouth liberals feign outrage.
And I’d like to know where you got that crystal ball, or maybe you’re just psychic and godlike, that tells you that Malkin INTENDED when people heard “self-inflicted” they understood “shot himself”?
Facinating.

Skunk

August 20, 2004
7:30 pm

Jason….Here it is again, real slow this time so you can stay with it. Did you read the part about how he was going to get to her book in a minute……..Read it again! I don’t know about you but by that intro they were going to talk about her book.
“I wasn’t talking about who mentioned the book first. That’s irrelevant. The WHOLE SHOW was about the book. What else are they going to talk about, the weather?”
No, there in lies the “ole switch-a-roo”,I think where you stopped taking your prescription. It was suppose to be about her new book. That was why she was originally invited to the lions den. Ambush journalism by a “Slime Ball” journalist with DNCNBC. Was this slow enough for you to catch up.
“Do some research. Get a blog and put some context around the story.”
Is this what you mean by context?
“But don’t come here asking me to ignore facts that are on the public record without an explanation why. And “they’re all a buncha libruls” doesn’t cut it.”
I believe that the book by the Swiftes could now be a matter of ” public record”
By the way, have any of your “crack” journalists at NYT or WP asked Mr. Kerry about these revelations or is smearing the Swiftes the order of the day?

Olaf

August 21, 2004
10:10 am

The reason that the “self-inflicted wound” is important is not that it raises the question of whether Kerry shot himself to get out of Vietnam. Purple hearts are not awarded for “self-inflicted” wounds, whether inflicted on purpose or accidentally. If Kerry was wounded by shrapnel from an explosion caused by a grenade he himslef detonated, he should not receive a purple heart, according to regulations.

Jason Lefkowitz

August 21, 2004
12:52 pm

“It’s a slur if it’s false. It has not been proven false, no matter how many foaming-at-the-mouth liberals feign outrage.”
You know, I heard that SAHMmy is a child molester.
Do I believe it? Of course not! I mean, I’m not saying that *I* think he’s a child molester. I don’t know one way or the other. I’m just saying that, you know, I’ve heard *other* people saying that.
Why doesn’t SAHMmy just address these rumors once and for all? Why doesn’t he just give us proof that he’s NOT a child molester? I’m sure he has nothing to hide.
What? You object that you shouldn’t have to “prove false” such a ridiculous, baseless allegation — that I should have to prove that you are a child molester, rather than the other way around?
Then why should John Kerry have to prove that he served honorably in Vietnam, when the charges that he didn’t come from people who are either obvious partisans (like John O’Neill, who ran GOP hits on Kerry for the Nixon Administration), people with personal or financial ties to the Bush administration, or people who are just plain contradicting things they said earlier?
Oh, right. He should have to do that because he’s a Democrat. I forgot.

Jason Lefkowitz

August 21, 2004
1:09 pm

“Jason….Here it is again, real slow this time so you can stay with it. Did you read the part about how he was going to get to her book in a minute……..Read it again! I don’t know about you but by that intro they were going to talk about her book.”
Here’s how Matthews segued from the segment with former Sen. Max Cleland to the Malkin-Brown segment:
“MATTHEWS: OK. Thank you very much, Senator Max Cleland. In just a moment. Note, when we requested a representative from the Bush campaign tonight to join us this evening, they did not want to come up against the people on the show.
Up next, former mayor Willie Brown and Michelle Malkin on the campaign ad war. Boy, it is getting hot.”
Willie Brown and Michelle Malkin on the campaign ad war. Yep, definitely sounds like they were planning to talk about her book to me.
And if he really pulled a bait and switch on her — if he out and out LIED to her about the content of the show, and told her it was going to be titled IN PRAISE OF MICHELLE MALKIN, and then she got there and watched in the green room while Matthews did half an hour on the Swift Boat ads and it never occurred to her that maybe he might ask her about that when she came out, and then — horror! — she came out and he didn’t want to talk about her book at all (the CAD!) — why didn’t she just say “Screw you, Chris?” and walk off the set? Why sit through an interview you were lured into doing with a lie?
Unless you’re rock stupid, or addicted to publicity, or you’re just rationalizing after the fact to try to explain how badly you ended up coming off. I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to decide which of these applies best to Ms. Malkin.
“Is this [blog] what you mean by context?”
I’ve got two-plus years worth of posts here on a wide range of subjects. Some of them are pretty damn detailed and have gotten kind words from around the world.
So yeah, I’d call that context.
“I believe that the book by the Swiftes could now be a matter of ‘public record’ ”
You’re right! Which is why Matthews asked Malkin to actually *evaluate* the charges in the book, rather than just repeating them like a parrot. Too bad she didn’t come to the set armed with anything better than talking points.
“By the way, have any of your “crack” journalists at NYT or WP asked Mr. Kerry about these revelations or is smearing the Swiftes the order of the day?”
Whaddaya know, they have:
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/20/politics/campaign/20kerry.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21239-2004Aug21.html
I know President Bush is proud of not reading the newspaper, but like most of his affectations, it’s not something I’d recommend anyone else pick up for their own lives.

Jason Lefkowitz

August 21, 2004
1:13 pm

“The reason that the “self-inflicted wound” is important is not that it raises the question of whether Kerry shot himself to get out of Vietnam. Purple hearts are not awarded for “self-inflicted” wounds, whether inflicted on purpose or accidentally. If Kerry was wounded by shrapnel from an explosion caused by a grenade he himslef detonated, he should not receive a purple heart, according to regulations.”
No, the reason it’s important is because it keeps this silly issue alive for another news cycle.
Believe me, George Bush would much rather be talking about Dong Cung this week than Najaf.

madagascar

August 21, 2004
8:37 pm

– Chris shouldn’t have kicked her off the show.
– Most TV viewers do not know that “self-inflicted wound” can be used to label an accident.
– Michelle knew this, as did Chris.
– Michelle tried to lead these certain ignorant TV viewers into thinking that Kerry may have purposely, not accidentally, injured himself.
– Chris should have only interupted her long enough to explain to his veiwers about “self-inflicted” and accidental injury. This would have been the most profitable way for him to cut her spin off.
– Instead he allowed her to leave as a social martyr. Chris chose the “Hardball” thing to do. He put her on the spot about leading the ignorant veiwers into mis-understanding quotes from “Unfit for Command”. He tried to accomplish this by taking the idea she wanted to impose upon the ignorant viewers and then asking her “yes or no” if that’s an allegation she would like to make.
– For those that care to label my views on this: I’m a veteran but not of Vietnam. This election I chose not to vote at all and this is because both party candidates, for different reasons, have abandoned the search for Osama Bin Laden. They both need a wake up call and will likely receive one at our expense.

Josh Bozeman

August 22, 2004
12:18 am

Funny. Malkin never brought up the suject of wounds and shrapnel- Brown did, as Malkin points out herself on her blog…and, when the subject was mentioned, she was there for the purpose of discussing the book in which the vets make the claim- how is bad for her to bring up the claims in the book? She never said she thought that herself…she was talking about the book. AND- why can she not bring up stuff mentioned in the book if she doesn’t think it’s 100% true herself? It’s common to mention allegations- you bring it up and investigate it, if it’s worthy, and this is surely worthy of investigation.
Your post makes no sense. Malkin’s comments were “smear politics?” So, next time, when someone like Brown praises Kerry, and suddenly brings up the subject of war wounds- Malkin should just sit back and not say anything on the subject? That’s silly.

Jason Lefkowitz

August 22, 2004
10:56 am

Josh:
“She never said she thought that herself…she was talking about the book. AND- why can she not bring up stuff mentioned in the book if she doesn’t think it’s 100% true herself? It’s common to mention allegations…”
You know, I hear Josh Bozeman is a child molester.
Do I think it’s 100% true? I don’t know. I’ve just heard, you know, allegations.
Why doesn’t Josh Bozeman just put these allegations to rest and prove that he isn’t a child molester? I’m sure he has nothing to hide.
Does this illustration help you understand why saying “I’m not agreeing with it, I’m just repeating what other people said” is disingenuous? It’s the responsibility of thinking people to *evaluate claims*, not just mindlessly parrot them. Malkin apparently isn’t up to that degree of independent thought, and Matthews rightly called her on it.
“So, next time, when someone like Brown praises Kerry, and suddenly brings up the subject of war wounds- Malkin should just sit back and not say anything on the subject?”
No, she should say something that has some tenuous connection to reality. If she’d said “getting a tiny piece of metal stuck in you 30 years ago has fuck-all to do with being qualified to be President of the United States,” for example, I’d have no problem with it.
Where she went off the rails was in choosing instead to play the game of innuendo smear politics. If you’re going to go that route, repeating unproven “allegations” that defy the public record, then you pretty much deserve whatever public derision you get.

Jason Lefkowitz

August 22, 2004
11:02 am

Madagascar,
thanks for bringing a dose of common sense to this thread — it needed it 🙂
I think you’re right on almost every point you make. I disagree that Matthews should have let Malkin go on — I personally would like to see *more* liars (of BOTH parties) get called out like she did — but I can see your point about how it lets her play the wounded martyr. The reactions of many people posting to this thread are a testament to that.
No matter how disaffected you are, though, I would urge you to vote in November — the stakes are just too high not to. Even if you don’t vote for Bush or Kerry, cast a ballot for a third party candidate, or at least make sure you turn out just so you can vote for the down-ballot races (House, Senate, state offices, etc.).
In many ways we are where we are today because people have taken their hands off the tiller of the ship of state. We desperately need to take it up again.

ModDem

August 23, 2004
6:47 pm

If Malkin wasn’t attempting to leave the impression that Kerry purposefully shot himself, why didn’t she simply say so when repeatedly given the opportunity. Lord knows Chris gave her the chance over and over and over again. She is a professional she should be able to admit that, and still make whatever point it was she was trying to make. I think watching the exchange it is pretty clear the game she is trying to play.

geoffg

August 24, 2004
9:45 am

Jason,
You are trying unsuccessfully to defend the indefensible behavior of a frothing liberal… Matthews.
It has been pointed out numerous times by ratonal posters that you have missed the context. Why not just admit that Mattews treated Malkin rudely, never talked about her book, which was why she was invited, and kicked her off because she wasn’t going to say what he wanted her to say. Admit Chris is a jerk!

Jason Lefkowitz

August 24, 2004
9:53 am

Chris Matthews, a “frothing liberal”?
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
Seriously, if Chris Matthews is your idea of a “frothing liberal”, you must lead a pretty sheltered existence. Chris Matthews’ ideology is generally to suck up to whoever happens to be in power at the moment. That’s what made this exchange so notable — that he actually grew a spine and pushed back when someone tried to use his show as a vehicle to spread misinformation.
And I’m supposed to “admit [he] treated Malkin rudely”? Of COURSE he did — she came on his show and tried to play the game of smear politics. What did she expect to get for tossing around unsubstantiated allegations that she has no proof for — flowers and frickin’ candy?
If the best her defenders can do is whine that big bad Matthews hurt poor Michelle’s feelings (by playing hardball on a show called “Hardball”, no less!), that speaks more eloquently to the emptiness of her case than anything I can say.

Will

August 27, 2004
7:38 pm

At the risk of being flamed or spammed, I’m going to say this.
You can blame Chris Matthews all you want, but Malkin just had to answer the question. If she believes the statement by the swift boat veterans for truth just say, Yes! She doesn’t? Say no. Done… Chris goes to the book. Instead Malkin she repeats that this is what they say and I want to help spread what is so far unsubstantiated by documents. I don’t have respect at all for her in doing that. Just take a stand geez. If you want to talk about the book then just answer the question!
My Bottom line on this controversy: Unless you can prove that the documents leading to the awarding of the medals were falsified or bribery was involved shut up! We all know talk is cheap.
If they believe it, where are the documents to prove it.
Bush could have countered Kerry’s service in Vietnam by displaying his National Guard records. I honestly hope he did serve, but it looks like nobody can find any documents to prove it other than dental records. (big whooptie do) Sadly, it has come to a republican funded group attacking Kerry’s service that he has U.S. military records to back up.
BTW as a side note: Since Ms. Malkin apparently agrees with the internment concept. (I haven’t read the book but have seen some of her TV interviews) I wonder what she would think if God forbid Abu Sayyaf attacked US soil. I believe she is of Filipino ancestry after all.
Yes, so we interned Germans, Italians, and Japanese during WWII. It doesn’t make any of it right.

John F. Kerry

August 31, 2004
12:44 pm

1) Kerry has refused to release his Military records surrounding the incidents in question
2) Kerry has refused to allow his own book “The New Soldier” to be printed
3) According to the swift boat veterans and common sense Kerry’s 4 months in Vietnam were at worst, fictionalized, and, at best, far less heroic than his medals would imply.
4) Kerry spent the immediate post war time making vicious statements against: the US, the military, its soldiers (baby killers, etc.) , and anti-communism.
5) Kerry spent the remaining 25 years as one of the most liberal politicians in the country voting against the military more so than almost any other politician.
6) As a presidential candidate and prospective commander-in-chief during war he had little or no credibility given this history. The polls continue to show this.
7) Kerry, despite being a presidential candidate, has taken no position on the current War on Terror
8) Kerry’s deceptive strategy given the above history is to pretend that he is now “reporting for duty” as if he is well qualified and eager to be commander-in-chief.
9) Something like 65% of Americans don’t believe he would be a willing or effective commander-in-chief given his history but despite their huge dissatisfaction with Bush.
10) Kerry’s response in addition to silence, refusal to release is records or book, or state a war policy, has been to accuse the Bush campaign of sponsoring the swift boat veterans.
Some vague connections have been demonstrated which is no surprise given that they all seem to hate Kerry having served with him. But certainly the idea that Bush campaign somehow made all 250 of them lie is purely absurd.
My personal point of view is that Kerry’s ultra liberal 25 years after the war, when he could not have been elected to dog catcher anywhere in America except Massachusetts is far more important than the 4 months in Vietnam. But still, when 250 of the guys who served with him and under him in Vietnam write a book saying he largely falsified his entire Vietnam experience you have to consider that even that tiny 4 month period is a meaningful indictment of a prospective commander-in-chief in time of war.